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The Metropolitan Division's Top 10 Right Wings: 2017-18

Continuing our look at the best in the Metro with an overview of the right wings

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Six Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Goaltenders? Check. Defensemen? Check. Rolling right along, it's time to look at the Metropolitan's top 10 right wings...

Honorable mention: Sebastian Aho (CAR), Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ), Pavel Buchnevich (NYR), Conor Sheary (PIT), Teuvo Teravainen (CAR), Justin Williams (CAR)

10. Kyle Palmieri (NJD)
Last year's rank: 8

Palmieri has had quite the resurgence since arriving in New Jersey two summers ago. As a Duck, he never topped 14 goals or 31 points, but has since practically doubled his output, cracking the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career last season and almost matching that output in 2016-17. Not surprisingly, his increase in offensive production has coincided with higher minutes and a larger role in general with the Devils. Last season he shared top-line duties (and the team’s point-scoring lead) with Taylor Hall, and it doesn’t sound like that’s changing anytime soon - so expect more of the same from Palmieri going forward.

9. Andre Burakovsky (WSH)
Last year's rank: N/A

At various times over his brief three-year career, Burakovsky has shown the flashes of brilliance that made him a first-round draft pick back in 2013 and at other times shown the inconsistency of youth and an ill-defined role in a stacked lineup. This year, however, he will get the chance to step up and take on more minutes and a top-six role on a Caps’ team whose forward depth has taken a bit of a hit. With that larger role, of course, come high expectations - but there’s no question he has the talent to live up to them.

8. Patric Hornqvist (PIT)
Last year's rank: 4

Hornqvist has made a name for himself over the years as the ultimate pest, but perhaps the most frustrating thing about him is that he can also score a fair amount - usually by plopping himself down in front of the net and refusing to move. He struggled a bit with injuries last season, missing 12 games during the regular season and another six in the playoffs, but still managed to hit the 20-goal mark for the fourth-straight season (and the seventh time in his career) and continued to be strong possession-wise, as well.

T-7. Cam Atkinson (CBJ)
Last year's rank: 9

The 28-year-old homegrown Columbus product has steadily improved year over year, culminating in his first 30+ goal season (en route to a career-high 62 points). Atkinson was a big part of a rejuvenated Blue Jackets team, building on what had been a breakout season in 2015-16 for an even better 2016-17 in which he led all Columbus players in points while producing a fair amount on the power play.

T-7. Jordan Eberle (NYI)
Last year's rank: N/A

A new face in the Metro, Eberle has been a consistent offensive talent over the course of his seven seasons in the NHL. In five of those seven seasons (including last year), Eberle cracked the 20-goal mark - and in 2016-17 he managed to accomplish this despite having his shooting percentage drop below 10% for the first time in his career. He struggled in the playoffs last spring, picking up just two assists in 13 games, but one could maybe chalk that up to it being his first postseason experience.

5. Mats Zuccarello (NYR)
Last year's rank: 4

Zuccarello saw his numbers dip a little bit from his career highs set in 2015-16, perhaps due in part to a lineup change - his previous sidekick, Derrick Brassard, was traded last summer to Ottawa for Mika Zibenajad - but he still managed to put up a team-high 59 points in 80 games, and led all Rangers’ forwards in ice time with just under 19 minutes a night.

T-4. T.J. Oshie (WSH)
Last year's rank: 5

It’s probably safe to say that Oshie’s incredible level of production last season had at least a little bit to do with a likely unsustainable shooting percentage of 23.1%, tops in the League (min 41 games played). Still, you need a little luck to score goals in today’s NHL and 30-goal seasons are nothing to sneeze at - only 26 players hit that mark last year, with Oshie doing so for the first time after falling just four goals shy the season before. He’s found some nice chemistry with both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (which also won’t hurt those point totals), and his ability to hound the puck and create traffic has made him a nice complement to the Caps’ top six.

T-4. Jakub Voracek (PHI)
Last year's rank: 2

To say that the 2015-16 season was an “off” year for Voracek would be a bit of an understatement; his 11 goals marked his lowest goal total since he potted nine in his rookie season back in 2008-09. It was a surprising dip for someone who has plenty of talent and a history of putting up big numbers... so it wasn’t surprising to see him bounce back to the 20-goal plateau last year, and a second-straight season of a fairly low shooting percentage suggests that he’s capable of topping that this year. That said, he’s never going to be a 30-goal guy, and at 28 years old he

2. Wayne Simmonds (PHI)
Last year's rank: 2

Simmonds draws a lot of attention on the ice and is beloved for his gritty presence on the ice - and yet despite that, the fact that he’s averaged around 30 goals a (full) season since joining the Flyers back in 2011 still feels somewhat under the radar. He’s scored at least 28 goals five times over the last six seasons; to put that in context, only three other players (John Tavares, Joe Pavelski and Max Pacioretty) have done the same, and only Alex Ovechkin has more. Not bad company for the Wayne Train.

1. Phil Kessel (PIT)
Last year's rank: 1

Some of the magic that Kessel had found with Hagelin and Bonino last year seemed to be gone at the start of the 2016-17 campaign... but that didn’t stop him from putting together his ninth-consecutive 20+ goal season (one of just 17 players to have as many as nine 20-goal seasons since 2005-06). The real showcase of his talent, however, came in the playoffs - as it did a season before - where he scored 23 points in 25 games, the third-best total among all playoff scorers behind only teammates Sidney Crosby (27) and Evgeni Malkin (28).